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Kenny Bayless has revealed that he warned Deontay Wilder between rounds about stopping the fight against Tyson Fury before the towel was compassionately thrown in.
Fury stopped Wilder in the seventh round to claim the WBC heavyweight world title after Mark Breland threw in the towel.
The American was furious with his co-trainer for throwing in the towel, but referee Bayless admits he was close to putting an end to the contest himself.
"It was a good stoppage in my opinion because in the minute's rest between rounds before the stoppage I went over to Deontay," he explained.
"I looked him in the face and I gave him the line that us referees give the fighters to let them know, 'hey, you've gotta show me something.'
"They know that if you go back out there and you don't show me something, then I might have to do my job and stop it.
"Deontay is a warrior, when I saw the towel come in out of the corner of my eyes and stopped it, Deontay's first response was, 'Why did I stop it?'
"Then I let him know it was his corner that stopped it, but I was very close to stopping it."
Bayless also spoke about Wilder's cut on his ear, saying: "I thought that the blood was coming from the inside of the ear. At the end of the round when I went over to check, the doctor was already in the ring while I was picking up the scorecard.
"The doctor looked at me and said, 'He's all right.' So at that point I left it alone. It wasn't until after the fight that the doctor said Deontay wears those things in his earlobes, those rings, apparently that lobe got cut and it was the lobe that was bleeding, not the eardrum."
Wilder, meanwhile, is set to trigger the rematch clause which will set up a trilogy bout with Tyson Fury in the summer.
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